We’ve all heard that impressing someone is all about those first few seconds. In the business world, we often spend those precious few seconds shaking that person’s hand. Does your handshake convey what you want it to?

A handshake should be firm. Not limp, but not too firm. I can think of a certain someone who has nearly crushed my hand each time I have presented it to shake his. Needless to say, I will avoid shaking his hand at all costs in the future. No one likes a handshake that’s like a limp noodle either. You want to convey that you are professional and no-nonsense. Master that in-between. Go up to a friend, and ask them to help you practice.

For a proper handshake, the angle between your thumb and index finger should meet up exactly with the other person’s. You should press down your thumb with light pressure to avoid the whole limp-noodle effect. If at all possible, avoid moist hands. That can be as equally unpleasant as an overly limp or firm handshake. If at a social function, think to hold your drink in your left hand if you know you will be shaking someone’s hand so you do not present them with a moist, cold hand.

You only get one change to make a first impression, or in some cases, one handshake.